If your brand-new dive or snorkeling mask is fogging up for no apparent reason, you may need to take a lighter to it. No, we're not suggesting you set fire to useless gear. This is one way to clean or prep a new dive or snorkeling mask — a necessary step if you want to avoid a foggy mask on your dive.
The reason: dive and snorkeling masks are injected with a releasing chemical that helps with the manufacturing process. But it often makes its way to your lens, causing it to fog up mid-dive. You can use a mask-prep compound or even try scrubbing toothpaste onto the lens, but if you're interested in quickly burning off the chemical, our Gear Editor breaks down the easy process below.
How To Clean a New Dive/Snorkeling Mask
- The manufacturing process leaves a silicone film on the mask lens
- The silicone residue must be removed to keep the mask from fogging
- You can remove it by scrubbing with toothpaste and your finger — a slow process
- A quicker method is to burn the silicone with a lighter
- A long lighter is easier on your fingers
- Keep the flame about 2 inches from the lens and move it continuously
- Don’t let any part of the lens or skirt get too hot
- As it heats, the silicone will fog and then turn to black soot
- Wipe the soot from the lens
- With clear or white skirts, wipe away from the skirt to avoid stains